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Revision as of 10:06, 27 September 2006 by Mpg (talk | contribs) (→‎References)
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This page describes our policy for using OSGeo's name, trademarks, logos, etc. This is a working draft and does not yet indicate formal policy!

I am not sure the Board actually went ahead and decided to TM our logo and such -- anyone?

All this stuff needs to be reviewed by legal.

Our Intent

The Foundation is trying to build a market presence through its name, projects, and offerings. As such, it is important that our "brand" is associated only with activities and products that are in keeping with the Foundation's goals of open access, quality, etc. This means that the Board, and indeed all Foundation members, have an obligation to oversee and control the symbols of the Foundation -- that is, our trademarks.

As an open, collaborative organization, we might often prefer that such controls not be necessary; we will try to strike an appopriate balance between control and openness. It is our intent that our guidelines be similar in spirit to those of other, similar arganizations, such as the Apache Foundation.

Our Trademarks

The following should be considered trademarks of OSGeo:

  • the name "OSGeo"
  • the name "The Open Source Geospatial Foundation"
  • the OSGeo logo (the "compass"), and variants thereof
  • Do we still have a motto / tagline? If so, that should be TM'ed too.

It is important to avoid dilution. As such, only the names "OSGeo" and "(The) Open Source Geospatial Foundation" should be used. Other variants and spellings, e.g. "OS Geospatial", "OSGF", etc, should not be used.

We do not address here the names and logos of member projects, e.g. Mapbender. Usage guidelines for project-specific marks are left to the individual projects themselves (please also see discuss page).

Our Guiding Principles

These are high-level guidelines. I'd love to do a full writeup like the Mozilla folks have, but I don't have the time. I am totally not a lawyer. The following are the "principles" to which we wish to adhere, even if the actual words are ambiguous, unclear, or simply lacking.

The general rule is this: "You may not use the OSGeo trademarks without permission."

This means the following:

  • OSGeo trademarks may only be used in the context of OSGeo-related activities, presentation, products, marketing material, etc.
  • The Foundation's projects have permission to use the OSGeo trademarks within the bounds of their project's requirements, e.g. to use the OSGeo logo on their project-specific websites, on their product splash screens, etc. However, this permission specifically does not include the sale of merchandise containing an OSGeo trademark without explcit prior approval.
  • Individuals and corporations may NOT use the OSGeo trademarks, e.g. using the OSGeo logo on a personal website or listing a product as containing OSGeo software. In the future, the Foundation may choose to offer permissions for such uses via the following sorts of avenues:
    • a "powered by OSGeo software" logo for general use with products, websites, etc, that use OSGeo products
    • an "OSGeo Member" logo for members
    • an "OSGeo Sponsor" logo for organizations which formally sponsor OSGeo activities
  • The Board reserves the right in all cases to create and distribute merchandise containing an OSGeo trademark. VisCom will act as the coordinator of any such merchandise.
  • VisCom is the first point of contact for questions regarding logo and trademark usage. As needs arise, VisCom will seek clarifications, approvals, etc, from the Board. The Board is the final arbiter of policy for usage of the Foundation's trademarks.
  • Generally, the TM should be used only at the first point of usage. Thereafter, it may be omitted.
  • Web pages, documents, etc, should contain a legal line somewhere saying that "[trademark] is a trademark of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)."
  • You may not alter the OSGeo logos in any way, e.g. change colors, change text, change font, etc.

Some FAQs

  • May I use the OSGeo logo on my website? No.
  • Can I link to OSGeo from my website? Yes.
  • May I list my affiliation with OSGeo on my blog? on my resume? Yes, and yes.
  • My product relies on some OSGeo software packages. Can I publically say that? Yes, in order to show attribution, e.g. for specific functionality or compatability. You may not, however, declare your use of OGeo software in any way that serves principally as a marketing or advertising function.